A friend called me last night to talk about a memorial service for a young man who died in a tragic car accident, taken in the prime of his life @ 22 years young a family and community are devastated. What made this situation even worse was a Born Again Preacher who doesn’t know the Gospel of Love, preaching a lie that will hurt many precious souls for a long time to come . You see this young man had committed the unforgivable sin in this Pastor’s eyes, he had not said the magical sinners prayer and joined the local Born Again Cult. So during this Pastor’s pathetic sales pitch for being born again, he tells a story about how he himself almost died in a motorcycle accident and but by the grace of God he did not, because he goes on to say had he died at that time he would have gone to Hell forever!
Bad Form Pastor you just told this young mans family that their son is in hell for eternity!
Band Form Pastor someone needs to teach you the true message of the Love of God in Christ!
Bad Form Pastor someone needed to scream at the top of their lungs, Jesus never taught this lie!
Bad Form Pastor someone needed to say sit down and shut up, your making a fool of God and His Christ!
a Recovering Fundamentalist Preacher
In Paul’s letter to the fellow believers in Rome he ask a rhetorical question,“Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’” I have seen this verse used time and again to prove God is Sovereign of the evil and the good. That it’s all planed out from beginning to end including those merely playing the villans role. Thank God the bible is full of actual stories that contradict this idea of God as puppet master.
Choice it seems is built into the biblical narrative from the very first story told of Adam and Eve. As Dr. Michael Lodahl put so well in his book (The Story of God) “Scripture Testifies of God not only as the Creator of all things but also the One who has lovingly, compassionately, and freely entered into covenantal relation with the creation.”
Paul’s question rhetorical question is actually taken from the book of Isaiah and not as some might think from the mind of Augustine and Calvin.
You turn things upside down,
as if the potter were thought to be like the clay!
Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it,
“You did not make me”?
Can the pot say to the potter,
“You know nothing”?
But let us answer Paul’s rhetorical question with one big affirmative Yes!
Wrestle With God just like Job did over Gratuitous Evil.
Wrestle With God just like Abraham who argued with God over the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah.
Wrestle With God just like Moses did over his Identity at the burning bush, or as Moses defended others in the face of God’s judgment.
Wrestle With God just like Jacob did over the course of your life and refuse to let go.
Wrestle with God in the Garden as Jesus did, until the Leap of Faith is Required.
Wrestle With God
Wrestle with God until He touches you
and gives you a New Name,
but know this most of the time the God you are really wrestling with,
is the god of your own understanding.